The New South Wales Police Force is warning people to be vigilant with their credit and debit cards after reports that a card skimming gang is targeting automatic teller machines (ATMs) in NSW.
The gang has installed skimming devices on ATMs across the Sydney metropolitan area which copy card details while a tiny video camera records the victim entering their personal identification number (PIN).
Compromised card details are copied on to blank cards and the stolen PINs used to make purchases from people’s accounts.
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According to fraud and cybercrime squad commander, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, at least 15 ATMs in Sydney were targeted.
He said that some of the stolen funds have been remitted to Romania, where the gang is from.
“Ensuring you cover the hand entering the PIN with your other hand, a newspaper or a magazine is still the best way to reduce the risk of your details being stolen as your card data is virtually useless without the PIN,” Dyson said in a statement.
He added that people should change their PIN regularly, check their card statements and report any suspicious activity to their bank immediately.
“If you think the ATM you are using has been tampered with, do not use it but report your concerns to the owner of the ATM straight away.”
Dyson provided the following tips for ATM users:
- Be alert when approaching an ATM and inspect the machine prior to inserting your card for any suspicious device or covering in the vicinity of the card reader. Any illicit addition to the ATM will be similar in colour to the original ATM, but on closer inspection it may be obvious a device has been fitted
- If you notice something suspicious, report it to the owner of the ATM immediately and don't conduct any transactions
- When conducting ATM or Eftpos transactions, maintain sight of your card
- Report any people acting suspiciously around ATM's to the police.
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